Anatase and rutile biphasic nanostructured titania (TiO2) has been synthesized via hydrolysis of titanium tetraisopropoxide in an aqueous solution of hydrobromic acid (HBr) and N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) at 80 °C for 16 h. The presence of DMF, which was partially hydrolyzed during the process, determined the formation of a biphasic material. Powder x-ray diffraction showed the presence of both anatase and rutile titania phases in a ratio of approx. 1:1. Transmission electron microscope analysis showed that rutile was present as radial flower-like nanorods, which were surrounded by anatase spherical nanoparticles of 5 nm diameter. Low temperature nitrogen adsorption-desorption analysis showed the characteristic hysteresis loop of a mesoporous material. Specific surface area reached a value of 120 m2 g-1 and the average pore diameter was 50. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analysis revealed that interstitial nitrogen was incorporated (0.35 at.%) during the annealing process. According to ultraviolet (UV)-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscope characterization, the N-doping caused a bandgap reduction from 3.0 to 2.9 eV. Photocatalytic activity of the material was tested for the degradation of methylene blue, methyl orange and 4-nitrophenol under near-UV and visible light radiation. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.